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Multiple monitor and graphics card Issue...


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This is a slightly complex issue so forgive the preliminary info dump:

Computer spec: i7 4790 [Intel HD graphics 4600], Corsair liquid cooling system, Gigabyte Z97-D3HF mobo, Nvidia GTX 460 1GB RAM, 12GB RAM, 128BG SSD HDD + 2 X 1TB HDD. Main monitor 1920 X 1080, secondary monitor 1280 X 1024.

Graphics card connected to one monitor, on-board graphics to the other one, both graphics devices enabled.

Scenario 1: GTX 460 is connected to main monitor, onboard graphics to secondary monitor:

I launch SL viewer on the main screen and the graphics card picks up the load [GPU speed, temp  and fan speed up]. SL Viewer says that the GTX 460 is the graphics device.

I drag the SL viewer window over to the secondary monitor [connected to on-board Intel HD 4600 graphics chip] but the graphics card is still processing it [fan blazing away!] and on-board graphics is asleep. SL Viewer says that the GTX 460 is the graphics device.

I launch SL viewer on the secondary screen [connected to the onboard Intel HD 4600 graphics chip] and the graphics card picks up the load [GPU speed, temp  and fan speed up]. SL Viewer says that the GTX 460 is the graphics device.

 

Scenario 2: onboard graphics [Intel HD 4600] is connected to main monitor, GTX 460 graphics to secondary monitor:

I launch SL viewer on the main screen and the onboard graphics card [Intel HD 4600] picks up the load. SL Viewer says that the Intel HD 4600 is the graphics device. GTX 460 is quiescent.

I drag the SL viewer window over to the secondary monitor [connected to the GTX 460] but the Intel HD 4600 is still processing it and the GTX 460 graphics is asleep. SL Viewer says that the Intel HD 4600 is the graphics device.

I launch SL viewer on the secondary screen [connected to the GTX 460] and the onboard graphics card [Intel HD 4600] picks up the load. GTX 460 is quiescent. SL Viewer says that the Intel HD 4600 is the graphics device.

 

Does anyone know what's going on here? To my mind it seems to defy logic as it implies that one graphics device is outputting through the other other one or am I missing something here? Right now as I type this I have two alts logged in on the screen connected to the GTX 460 but it's showing minimal load and both viewers claim to be handled by the Intel HD 4600 graphics chip even though I launched both instances of the SL viewer on the monitor attached to the GTX 460.

If the monitors were hooked up the other way around it would be the same in reverse with all instances of SL launched on the screen connected to the onboard Intel HD 4600 graphics chip reporting the GTX 460 as the graphics device.

 

I use the dual monitor setup when I do shows in SL. I put my avatar and band alts on one screen and Cubase, remote desktop and audio encoder on the other which makes for a very smooth glitch-free setup. Previously I used an ATI Radeon 7950 but because it was more powerful and quieter I never noticed this issue.

Unfortunately the Radeon burnt out and now that I'm using the cheaper, noiser and hotter Nvidia card this issue has come to my notice. I would get another super-duper graphics card but my budget doesn't go that far and I have to make do with what I've got.

 

Soooo.... what I need to know is: Is there any way to force or lock a monitor to a graphics device so that when you move an app from one screen to another the graphics processing is handed off to the other graphics device?

 

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if i understand well, you use dual for performances?...

i would not work with two cards but both monitors on one.

Because it's only to perform inworld you don't need high settings. Think your GX should be able to handle that.

If you run multiple alts for your performances perhaps try a lightweight viewer as radegast.

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I don't agree with defying logic. Logic to me would be that there would be no hand off from one GPU to another which is what you see.

 

How else could it cope if you dragged the window across both screens? There's no way that one half of the viewer would be handled by one GPU and the other half of the window handled by the other. How would that work with different GPU performance and capability? You'd end up with no shadows and lag on half of your viewer while the other half had no lag and shadows for example.

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I agree with Alwin. I use 2 monitors connected to 1 card, and it works fine with several (not just 2) avatars logged in simultaneously. Admittedly, I can't move them all simultaneously but neither could you with 2 cards, because you only use 1 input device (keyboard).

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Alazarin Mondrian wrote:

Unfortunately the Radeon burnt out and now that I'm using the cheaper, noiser and hotter Nvidia card this issue has come to my notice. I would get another super-duper graphics card but my budget doesn't go that far and I have to make do with what I've got.

That's unfortunate because the 400-series nvidia cards were notorious for the things you've noticed: hot and noisy. The 460's 3D benchmark isn't impressive either, so I'm guessing your graphics settings are pretty grim, too. On the plus side, the longer you can wait, the less costly will be a good replacement, especially with nvidia's 10xx series rolling out now. On the negative, though: it's just a matter of time before that 460 melts down, so be sure to keep it dust-free and as cool as possible until that replacement is ready.

Obviously that's irrelevant to your question, but I do wonder: what happens if you run two different viewer programs, started from different monitors? Like, start with your favorite viewer on the 460-driven monitor, and a less-favored viewer on the integrated graphics-driven monitor? If they're different programs, do they end up driven by the graphics native to the monitor on which they started? (or would that be unhelpful anyway? I mean, I know that only the viewer window with mouse focus really gets much processor attention, graphics or otherwise, so maybe it just doesn't matter.)

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Hello Alwin!

 

I have tried using both monitors connected to one card but it didn't really work out.

1] Both monitors connected to the onboard [intel HD 4600] graphics: gets sluggish once all avatars are loaded up plus Cubase & audio stream glitches started happening.

 

2] Both monitors connected to the GTX 460: GPU temperatures in excess of 70 C, fan blazing away like a motorcycle, avatars movable but sluggish and occasional audio stream glitches / breaks.

 

The most reliable setup was to connect each monitor to a separate graphics device. Well that's what worked best for me since I started using dual monitors. Prior to that I used separate computers: Cubase + audio encoders on one and my avatars on another.

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Hello Qie!

 

I tried your suggestion and installed Firestorm. I launched it on the monitor which is attached to the GTX 460 and....

... it reports the Intel HD 4600 as its graphics device and the GTX 460 is definitely still quiescent. It's a Palit GTX 460 which comes with their little overclocker utility called 'Thundermaster'. [Yeah, lol!] Anyhooo... it tells you how hard the graphics card is working, GPU speed, memory speed, GPU temperature, fan speed etc., and the card is doing no work!

GPU @ 50 mHz, Memory @ 135 mHz, GPU temp @ 32 C, Fan @ 48%.... that's less than when it's idling with the main screen connected to it.

 

I hate to say it but even though the onboard graphics has a lower frame rate, it's preferrable to the GTX 460.

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Have you tried restricting the frame rate in Firestorm? If not, try it. The viewer has a tendency to go as high as it can and in quiet area can cause the graphics card to run away.

 

I limit my GTX 680 to 30fps and drive three monitors. I don't need SL to do >100 fps in an empty sim. Card gets noisy, power consumption goes up.

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I know budget is a consideration here, but if it is at all possible, I suggest investing in a good graphics card. One that will let both of your monitors use it. As far as budget goes though, keep an eye on craigslist maybe? Some people don't even know what they are selling. My husband and I make our own computers and sell our old (and usually pretty nice) graphics cards on Craigslist. Also, consider selling some stuff on Craigslist you never use and don't really want. You'd be surprised how much you can make. You'd be letting go of things you don't care about to bring into your life something that adds more value to you. 

 I have  Nvidia GTX 970 and run two monitors smoothly with SL. I don't usually have two instances of SL running, but it's not uncommon for me to run WoW and Second Life at the same time. 

Regardless, even if you can't upgrade your graphics card, I do wish you much luck. I hope that you can soon experience Second Life smoothly and enjoy your adventure. 

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Well you do have a fancy motherboard. It has some kind of crossfire/sli dual card control in it. My guess is that the SL viewer is just reading the graphics information wrong. A graphics card can't process the images and then go out through another graphics card.

Here's the manual to your motherboard. Be careful if you go into the bios setup.

http://www.manualslib.com/manual/692847/Gigabyte-Ga-Z97-D3h.html?page=4#manual

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